At least a dozen lawmakers who didn't disclose their transportation earmarks are the beneficiaries of trasnportation fundraisers this year, according to Party Time. Click here to see who. We've also updated this online database to include party information.Continue reading
- Josh Marshall looks into how Shirlington Limousines came to be connected to alleged-briber Brent Wilkes. The "missing link" appears to be former Rep. Bill Lowery (R-CA), who is now a lobbyist with close ties to Appropriations chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA).
- Following the money doesn't have to be limited to politics and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington has shown how to follow the money in the religious arena.
- Captain Ed is disheartened by the failure of Coburn's amendments to strip pork from the emergency supplemental. When talking about the Northrop Grumman earmark he asks the question that we all have in our head when thinking this, "Why does a corporation that made $2.4 billion in profit need another $200 million from American taxpayers to cover a loss they've absorbed in that same year?" Amen.
- citizen dc at Daily Kos writes about Karl Rove's "unexplained personal wealth". It is quite strange that a man who doesn't make so much money happens to own million dollar homes. Continue reading
In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair (to be published next week) ex-lobbyist and Republican heavyweight Jack Abramoff dishes on his GOP friends who have “airbrushed” him out of the Congress, the Party, and the White House. GOP Party chairman Ken Mehlmen, “exchanged e-mail with Abramoff, did him political favors (such as blocking Clinton administration alumnus Allen Stayman from keeping a State Department job), had Sabbath dinner at his house, and offered to pick up his tab at Signatures.” Karl Rove sat next to Abramoff for the NCAA Tournament games at the MCI Center and House Majority Leader John Boehner was a regular at Abramoff’s restaurant Signatures. Jack Abramoff on Newt Gingrich: “I have more pictures of him than I have of my wife!” President Bush once asked Abramoff, “What are you benching, buff guy?” Conrad Burns, “Every appropriation we wanted [from Burns’s committee] we got. … Our staffs were as close as they could be. They practically used Signatures as their cafeteria. I mean, it’s a little difficult for him to run from that record.”Continue reading
Ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff was paid $1.2 million by the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed to set up a meeting with President Bush, according to the Associated Press. Mahathir was persuaded by the conservative Heritage Foundation to seek the meeting because, “the conservative think tank believed he could help ‘influence (Bush) in some way regarding U.S. policies.’” Sources claim that Abramoff used his connections to White House aide Karl Rove to set up the meeting. The Malaysian government also paid $300,000 to an Abramoff connected company to lobby members of Congress and to set up trips to the country, including a 2001 trip by then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). Mahathir states that he cannot recall where the money paid to Abramoff came from but that it did not come from the Malaysian government.Continue reading
Jack Abramoff contacted White House aide Karl Rove four times to arrange for his client, the President of Malaysia, to meet with President Bush, according to former associates of the disgraced lobbyist. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Malaysian government paid $1.2 million to the American International Center, a shell company set up by Michael Scanlon and Abramoff, to lobby the White House for a meeting between the two Presidents. President Bush eventually met with President Mahathir in May of 2002 after Rove approved the meeting, according to the Times source. The White House denies that Abramoff’s lobbying played any part in Mahathir’s visit, stating that “the meeting was arranged through normal channels.”Continue reading
Former associates of Jack Abramoff claim that the ex-lobbyist “frequently told them he had strong ties to the White House through presidential confidant Karl Rove.” The Associated Press reports that, “One said he was present when Abramoff took a call from Rove's office to confirm a White House meeting had been approved between Malaysia's prime minister and Bush in May 2002. Abramoff was being paid by Malaysia for helping it in Washington, according to evidence the Senate has made public.” Rove’s executive assistant is Susan Ralston, a former top assistant to Abramoff. Rove, through a spokesman, describes Abramoff as a “casual acquaintance.”Continue reading
The former chief of staff to John Boehner, Barry Jackson, accepted an invitation to travel to Saipan in the Marianas Islands to visit with clients of Jack Abramoff, but decided not to go. According to the Associated Press, Jackson, now chief deputy to White House aide Karl Rove, was contacted by Abramoff associate David Safavian – who is now indicted for his role in the Abramoff affair – on visiting Saipan to look at the working conditions at garment factories on the Islands. Jackson cannot remember why he did not go to the Islands. On Sunday’s Meet the Press Boehner said that Abramoff may have been in contact with “low-level employees” in his office.Continue reading
Despite attempts to distance itself from the Abramoff scandal the White House cannot shake its connections to the corrupt lobbyist. The Wall Street Journal reports that there are three officials who seem to be directly tied to Abramoff and unraveling scandal. Former GSA and OMB official David Safavian formerly worked as a lobbyist with Abramoff and is currently indicted for lying to the GSA, the FBI, and the Indian Affairs Committee and for obstruction of justice. Former deputy Interior Secretary Stephen Griles is under investigation for his role - as Abramoff’s “man” inside Interior – in aiding Abramoff’s tribal clients. White House aide Karl Rove is also tied to the disgraced lobbyist. Abramoff bragged to his client Tyco that he could contact Karl Rove on their behalf. Rove, when he came to the White House, took Abramoff’s top assistant Susan Ralston to be his executive assistant.Continue reading